Contracts, Love, and Thai Boxing
So, there has been a short lapse between this chain of words and my last posted blog; not that anyone cares (quite being so pessimistic, Eric [ok]). Currently, I’m typing without my contacts, so my fingers are moving in faith that spell check came to work today to save me from the choke holds of grammatical illiteracy (rubs eyes and blinks rapidly).
I feel like I’ve had my ass kicked this weekend. No worries…it wasn’t an ass whooping, just a few kicks that made me Rub my Bum like Sexually Aggressive Massage Therapists.
I’ve undergone a few musical depressions; in case you’re curious (which you’re probably not [Eric…pessimism?!]), it’s not quite an emotional experience, but it’s like Nas meets Damian Marley – they’re Distant Relatives. I haven’t recorded one hum, “yea”, “uh”, or even a grasp for air before uttering any of the previous mentioned. Why? Well, not by choice; I do respect the time and space that God has granted others. I value invitation. I wouldn’t have it any other way. If it was a woman, the same principles apply; music and I are deeply in love. So, I accept the rejection (and the teasing). God moves in mysterious ways, and things happen for a reason, right? And, patience is love, right? And all things happen in their allotted season. (deep sigh)
The good news is that I was able to scan and email my job acceptance paperwork for my new contract, in which I begin working on 13 Feb 2011. Ah, the business of contracting! I tell ya, it’s just like the institutionalized version of marriage. It’s seems like I hate this system despite its benefits; so how about we infer that I have a love-hate relationship with the concept. As I near completion of my divorce with CSA, I look forward to my engagement with my new fiancé – TLC. No, people, I’m not having a threesome (Ha, made ya think! Or maybe not); The Logistics Company is a subcontractor from General Dynamics. So, yes, best believe that I’m ready to sign those papers – Usher Raymond. The divorce will be finalized 12 Feb 2011. I will be divorced only to remarry my newly, lawfully wedded wife on 13 Feb 2011. This one will pay mucho dinero compared to my previous marriage, with the same hours worked (between 134-144 hours bi-weekly). This new engagement is a blessing and a curse; a lot of time, energy, and space are dedicated towards money making vs. time vested with the family. But, this is a sacrifice for a greater purpose; lol have you ever heard someone say “I’m going to marry you for reasons greater than our union?” I don’t think I have, but that would be an interesting debate. You’re probably wondering why I’m drenching this portion of the monologue with the marriage/relationship analogy – I’m projecting my perception of this experience. A lot of people don’t understand the true meaning of an obligation. This next marriage will be my 5th obligation. Of course, I’m honoring my commitment for a particular happiness; I’m free to leave whenever I want, and in the absence of criticism by anyone. I’m accumulating funds for the sake of my son, myself, and my aspirations. The terms and conditions of an obligation are documented for physical and financial security reasons. It’s a prorated transaction – skills, talent, and love in exchange for paid bills and other thrills. Yet, most neglect the flipside of this Gemini-like union (I love Gemini’s, by the way). What happens when you can’t honor your obligation? Let’s face this attractively ugly beast; most of us aren’t sensitive to our psychic powers to truly know the future. I said, most, so I’m not generalizing. We sign these contracts on faith that the current conditions will remain the same:
In sickness and in health, for better or for worse, till death do you part…
Many disregard that people die while on a contract (Tupac, Lisa Lopez, Blackwater contractors during Iraq War, Pat Tillman, Kenny Mckinley, the nice 42 yr old lady that worked at Walmart, etc). Death does not discriminate, in case you’ve never met him face to face. Death is also not limited to the physical self; according to many philosophers and religious aspirants, there is a spiritual death. And yes, you can be destroyed emotionally. Artists, writers, clothing designers, scientists of many types, athletes, couples, and many other talented beings take a giant leap of faith into these obligations, while unaware of uncontrollable variables such as album flops, injuries, prison time, economical health, unplanned psychological disorders, etc. The financial gods are constantly seeking profit, even in the face of these uncontrollable variables. It would forsake the mind of the Capitalist if their investment flopped, so yes, there’s little room for sympathy in business. Although, empathetic, their focus is a juggernaut to conditions. In short: these boys and girls want their money!! And little did you know, you were a meager asset to their financial goals. (deep breath…exhales) the nature of business; it can be so unforgiving
Do I love this profession? Well, I have to; essentially, because I do all things in love (God would have it no other way [actually the option is there]). I’ll say that this is an interesting direction that I’ve taken in life. This direction is one that will help me reach my attainable goal to settle down in California with my son, in a healthier, friendlier, culturally progressive environment. I have a desire to get him up out of the hood and closer to me. I feel this calling (or maybe it’s my self-created delusion) to fatherhood, but with unemployment infecting the American economy, life preservation becomes Harder than Dirk Diggler on Viagra.
I know I’m not the only one who watched Boogie Nights.
I often feel guilty for taking this route. I’ve always been away from the United States. I’m not complaining here. My International Man of Mystery-travels has done me great justice. I’ve been to places most see on FOX and CNN; I’ve witnessed the American dream plague the minds of our Eastern brethren; they’ve sacrificed the roots of their culture for the temporary fruits of [insert derogatory yet clever device here]. I count it all joy, even through the pain. The last time I ALMOST cried was last night, as I looked at my catalog of memories in my hand held device. Technology can bring so much luxury. I held my son in the palm of my hand – smiling at the still life that is… my son. The picture, of course, won the staring contest….. and the smiling contest. I humbled myself to the defeat. My female counterparts often tell me that Zae will understand when he gets older, and that my efforts are praiseworthy and noble. No offense, but to me, it just “sounds” like the right thing to say. Most of the time, I’d rather not hear anything at all. Bottling it all in is unhealthy; I could always poeticize my thoughts on the matter. But, these thoughts just happen to spill on the table while I’m breaking bread with others. Single mothers are peering through the window of their bastard son’s experience. It requires personal experience to truly know a bastard son’s experience (reluctantly raises hand). Sure, these women relate; but again, the experience is a distant relative to the conceptualization of being a fatherless son. Most of us (and by us I mean “them” [no, I don’t]) thick skinned men are afraid to be vulnerable because many of us are conditioned to be strong and tough instead of expressive, adaptive, and accepting when situations become uncompromising. Anyway, that’s a poem in itself, and I know you’re getting weary of reading this as I am in typing. I don’t permit the chains of guilt to enslave me, but often I question my motives to ensure that my heart is in a secure and righteous place. It’s too easy to get attached to the experience of life, and forget your purpose. Divine Amnesia is a suicide.
Random side note: I need to find another grocery store; The Sultan Center is so damn limited. Sigh, this one of those times where I miss American manufactured food.
I told my #1 fan, Josie, about the whole ordeal; she was quite disappointed that I wouldn’t be coming home. I’ll admit that I have a bit of regret buried within my fleshy exterior as well. Sort of like that scene in Kill Bill Vol. 2 where Uma Thurman (in her rugged sexiness), was buried alive. So, best believe, the regret is hammering away at my hardened shell; eager to break free from this Sexual Chocolate of a Coffin.
For a moment (actually a few moments), in my conquest to submit my acceptance paperwork (to be engaged), I really believed that I wasn’t supposed to accept. I told myself: “If God had other plans, then it would be impossible for me to submit my paperwork”. How about I had some resistance?! I get to Basix (the place where I’m going to scan and email my paperwork) around 1600. The computer is down, so I can’t print the documents. I think “ok, go next door and see if they have a printer”….no printer. I think “ok, go to the warehouse and print at the turn in section”. I go to the turn in section of my workplace; the printer works, but it’s not printing the documents correctly. I’m thinking “what the hell!? God is this you? No way! Maybe this is a test to see how willing I am. I won’t give up.” Before I can think my next thought, the internet server is down. “Maybe I can email it to myself, and print it at the supervisor’s office; they have a printer there. I can’t connect my USB to their computer – government will detect the device, and she’ll get in trouble.”
I see the red “x” over the computer icon (indicating “no connectivity”).
“Think, Eric! Ok, let me move towards the front, they have a printer at the issue desk”. Nope! The systems are down for maintenance (damn, CSSAMO!). I was told that it would take 30 minutes. It is 1630. Basix closes at 1800. I’m good. One hour to get it in. I wait with an overwhelming sense of anxiety; telling myself to be patient. I received a call from a TLC representative. It felt like a tease; I was asked “will you be accepting the housing allowance or will you accept TLC-provided housing?” I accept the latter. They inquire about when I’ll be able to submit my documents. I say “hopefully before 1800, waiting for a medium to print and scan”. The remind me of the urgency of today’s paperwork submission. Like I said…it felt like a tease.
I can’t wait any longer, so I attempt to print from the supervisor’s office. It would’ve been a success, except for some reason, Chris’ CAC card won’t work. I try to print from the storage section, but the computers are off. I try to print in the Administration’s office, but Sayooj (Admin guy) is reluctant (as always). He recommends the key control office. The dayshift key control guy (I forgot his name [smacks head]), is Muslim, and he’s praying; so I have to wait. It’s a bit past 1700. (smiles) I’m cutting it close. He was really deep in prayer I tell ya. But, I respected his dedication, and I patiently waited in the thick silence of the room that was complimented by his seemingly-mumbled prayers. After about 5 minutes, he was able to give me access to the computer. The moment of truth was upon me; if it were meant for me to send these documents, this would have to be it.
Success! Print and signed, I dash to Basix. The voice in my head says “where’s the USB card reader?” I ignore it. The store rep. says “sir, do you have a USB of some sort?” I check my pockets. “I must’ve left the device at the office”. She says “well you can come back tomorrow”. I say “wait, no, it’s right down the way, I’ll be back”. It’s 1735 – 25 minutes remaining. “I’ll make it”, I say to myself; “no worries”. I grab the device, and I return.
15 minutes later…I walk out of the store….relieved. (scoffs)….what a day.
Prior to all of this, I saw my son’s mother’s ex-boss. Amazing how you run into folks; especially service-affiliated. We chit chat for about 15 minutes before my Sonic the Hedgehog race against time-adventure commenced.
I watched a movie called “127 Hours”. It’s an inspiring movie based on a true story. It’s about a man (can’t remember his name – I’m bad with names) who gets stuck in this trench-like area within the middle of nowhere (desert area). His right hand is wedged between a rock and a hard place. He didn’t tell anyone where he was going, so of course, a search team was out of the question. There were so many odds against this man due to his self negligence. He appeared to be a nice dude; he just made a few compromising choices in his interpersonal relationships. He had some rope, a bottle of water, a burrito, a cheap ass pocket multi-tool (which came with his head lamp), and a camelback water reservoir system. Oh, I can’t forget the video camera! He documented as much as he could. This man went through a near-death experience indeed. Dementia was attacking him like Lionidas against 20000 Persians – ruthless. This dude submitted to drinking his own urine after he devoured all of his water reserves. Conclusively, he willingly breaks his arm, and using the cheap pocket multi-tool, he severed his own arm. I imagine it was a bit easier since he made a tourniquet (using the drinking tube from the Camelbak and a D-Ring) to cut off the blood circulation. The imagery!! Muscle, nerves, and blood – whew! When he escaped, however, he was still 27.3 miles away from his car…or something like that. Lucky for him, he found a water puddle on the way, followed by some nature lovers who were walking by. (smh) talk about a struggle. I know he appreciates life a bit more – he went on to conquering the world….with an amputated arm. Swimming, climbing, hiking – indeed, he learned his lesson. And with that…I have re-learned a valuable one as well:
….Let someone know where you’re going before you travel alone.
Like Thai Kickboxers….we all Knee’d somebody at one point in our lives!
…Not sure if the spell check worked in my favor, but if not….well…[insert witty yet respectful comment here] << Take that, take that (in weak Diddy voice).